Digital cameras are becoming more sophisticated and offer more and more functionality. However, all this technology does not prevent some of the most common mistakes that can be prevented with experience and careful use of your camera.
Invest in memory, so you can shoot on the highest quality. This can be in the JPEG format, but when you want to capture as much detail as possible then it is best to shoot in RAW format (requires more finishing than shooting JPEG). This gives you the chance to correct minor flaws immediately without compromising in image quality. Also make sure that your choose a card with a writing speed that matches the speed of your camera. So you can go on shooting as soon as possible.
On an LCD screen it is always difficult to see whether a picture is sharp or not. Try to postpone your choice for removing a photo until you can see the picture onto a large screen. Try to avoid removing all your photo’s on your card, you will not be the first who accidentally did this!
Provide adequate power, take a spare battery and check the night before you go if you do have enough fully charged batteries. Consider also about the batteries in your flash.
Make sure the front of your lens is dust free and that there are no drops on it. It is best to clean the front with a microfiber cloth that you can buy for a few dollars at a camera store Do not use your handkerchief, this can damage the coating of the lens. If you use a polarizing filter or other filter, make sure this is clean also. The cleaning prevents ‘lens flares’ when light falls at an angle into the lens.
Another way to counter lens flare is to place a lens hood. In addition, it also helps you to prevent damage to the front of the lens when you might bang against something. The hood captures the bang. Lens Flare does not always have to be negative, you can also use it as a creative tool. Do not forget the camera sensor. Over time this will gather dust as well – especially if you often change lenses – which are visible in the picture, especially when you use a higher f-number.
NOT RESTORE ISO
Increasing the ISO is a widely used way to be able to get a little extra light on the sensor in a church or other dark place so that the shutter can get just high enough to make a sharp photo. It is better to have a little more noise in the picture than a blurry photo.
Then you step outside and you go through with shooting and it turns out that you have not put back the ISO…Oops…. Always try before you go shooting at a new place to put your ISO back to a fixed standard to prevent such errors!
Often you can still apply in post processing noise reduction to the negative effect of a high ISO value counter. If you do not use the photos for publication and these are sharp, then absolutely do not throw them away., you can always make a black and white picture of it.
Another common mistake is a horizon in which it seems that the water of the sea runs out of the image. While shooting you concentrate on a specific topic and people often forget to look at the whole picture. This error is also relatively common when you hold the camera in portrait mode, your head is bent, making it difficult to see if everything is right.
New cameras (like the Canon 7D, Nikon D300s, Olympus E-3 or K-7) provide functions to show that the camera is held right. In some cameras you can also have guides display on the LCD. When you don’t have these functions, you can also use the two focus points furthest away from each other horizontally or vertically. Make sure both are on the same line in the composition, then the picture is straight.
Another good tool is a tripod. This forces you to work a little slower and to have a look on the LCD screen from a little more distance, so you see quickly that the horizon is crooked.
Fortunately, this error is also easy to recover afterwards with post processing. Software often provides some guidelines by which you can judge whether the horizon is level or not. Keep in mind that, depending on how inclined the horizon, there is a part of the picture which will fall off.
NO CLEAR SUBJECT
For compositions often is the simpler the better. The more elements compete with your actual subject, the harder it is for the viewer to see where they should pay attention to. Therefore, take only the important elements in the picture and try to keep insignificant elements out of the composition as much as possible. For example, notice brightly colored things in the background or at the edges of the image that the eye can actually detract from your subject. The human eye itself unconsciously ignore distracting elements, but a camera lens can not make that choice.
One way to create a easier composition is to get closer. This can be done by using a zoom lens, but also by a couple of steps forward. Then there can be no doubt of what the subject is. The viewer looks at the picture less aloof and gets more involved. You can also use paths or lines and a see-through to lead en eye to the final topic.
By variating your point of view you can also make your photos more interesting. Check your subject from a low position or from a higher position. Note also the background, sometimes the subject is intermittent in a dark background, or you suddenly see a tree branch or a lamppost growing out of someone’s head. By changing your position you can easily avoid this kind of problems.
Also you don’t always have to follow “the rules”. Each subject requires its own approach and sometimes it’s just better to put a subject in the center or to slant the horizon. The important thing is that you have fun in your hobby / work. Go on the road, a photo you take is infinitely better than a picture that you do not take. With lots of practice and experimentation you will get it automatically in the fingers, do not take it too seriously and enjoy the process. Right and wrong does not exist, a composition that works is by definition a good composition
How often does it happen that a picture looks just fine on a small display, but once you look at the picture on a larger screen it is not sharp. Blurred images can have different causes. In many cases, the required shutter speed is too slow so that motion blur is introduced, the slower the shutter speed is the greater the chance of camera shake. A safe shutter speed for a sharp picture with the camera in hand is minimal 1/60s, but this also depends on the lens used and how quiet you can keep the camera.
A good tool to get sharp photos under low-light conditions is to use a tripod and a remote control. Combine your tripod with a remote control for the camera. This may be a wired remote, but also a remote control without a wire. When your finger press the shutter button you will still have a chance of movement, with a remote control you completely exclude it. Additionally, you can take a little more distance to your camera so you can see the result on the LCD screen easier when it appears.
In some circumstances, however, it is practically not possible to work with a tripod. How you hold your camera can also be essential. Being aware of your posture can sometimes make the difference between a failed or successful picture. You can assure a still sharp picture with a relatively slow shutter speed by pressing yourself, or pressing the camera, against a wall or by placing your camera on a wall or on something else. If you quickly take three consecutive shots while holding the shutter, the middle picture often is sharp.
You should always try to hold on to your camera with both hands. Two hands are much more stable than just one hand. Support the lens with one hand and hold the camera firmly with the other hand. In addition, you should try to bring your camera close to your face and keep it there. The closer you hold the camera to your body, the less chance you have of movement in your pictures by shaking with your camera. The more compact you can make yourself, the better. Your body is your tripod.